At OPG, we work hard to minimize our environmental footprint in our site communities. We also work with partners to foster and enhance biodiversity across Ontario.
With processes and programs in place to manage our environmental impact (we’ve been ISO 14001 certified since 1999), and improve our natural surroundings, OPG is consistently recognized at home and abroad by groups like the international Wildlife Habitat Council. In fact, OPG maintains 12 Wildlife at Work and six Corporate Lands for Learning certifications.
Our regional biodiversity program focuses on the protection and restoration of the natural habitat across Ontario. Since 2000, OPG - through our many conservation partners - has planted more than 6.5 million native trees and shrubs on more than 2,850 hectares of ecologically strategic land in Ontario.
Our biodiversity program is also committed to managing OPG’s generating sites in a manner that strives to maintain or enhance significant natural areas and associated species of concern. One example is the transformation of 24 hectares of parkland into a diverse woodland and grassland habitat. Nanticoke Park is now home to such species at risk as the bobolink and meadowlark, while tree swallows scurry amongst nest boxes.
OPG is the lead sponsor in the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration project. Also known as Bring Back the Salmon, the program is designed to help restore a self-sustaining Atlantic salmon population to Lake Ontario and its streams. The main components of the program include fish production and stocking, water quality and habitat enhancement, outreach and education and research and monitoring. In 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released a major scientific study that showed the program has exceeded benchmarks for in-stream survival and growth of juvenile Atlantic salmon through their first summer. These are extremely important indicators to stream health and restoration progress. The study also notes other positive signs such as the presence of Atlantic salmon nests, wild juveniles and wild adults in the rivers.
We also partner with groups like Earth Rangers, Rouge Park, LEAF, Ontario Nature, Toronto Wildlife Centre, and Bruce Trail to facilitate conservation activities that will engage Ontario families and raise awareness of the many benefits of preserving biodiversity.
Other examples include the restoration of 13 hectares of wetlands in the Bay of Quinte, and the installation of an eel ladder in Cornwall to help the American eel to complete its upstream migration. Trap and transport programs also aid the downstream migration around dams.